Lesser stitchwort

Lesser stitchwort ©John Bridges

Lesser stitchwort

Scientific name: Stellaria graminea
Look for the pretty, star-shaped, white flowers of Lesser stitchwort in woodlands and meadows, and along hedgerows and roadside verges in spring. Its flowers are smaller than those of Greater stitchwort.

Species information

Statistics

Height: 20-40cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

May to September

About

Lesser stitchwort is a creeping perennial that forms low clumps among the grasses on neutral and acid soils. It can be found in open woodland, on meadows and heathland, and along hedgerows and roadsides. From May to September, it bears small, white flowers.

How to identify

Lesser stitchwort has five white petals, each deeply notched and almost divided into two; they alternate with long, green sepals. Its grass-like leaves are unstalked and narrow. The similar Greater stitchwort has larger flowers (2-3cm across) than Lesser stitchwort (0.5-1cm across).

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

The flower of Lesser stitchwort is only open for three days, but new ones are produced throughout the summer, until the beginning of September.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts look after many meadow habitats using traditional methods, such as hay-cutting, reseeding and grazing, for the benefit of local wildlife. We are also working closely with farmers and landowners to promote wildlife-friendly practices in these areas. You can help too: volunteer for your local Wildlife Trust and you could be involved in everything from stockwatching to surveying meadow flowers.